Carl Jung on Gnosticism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Like everything else that he analyzes, Gnosticism for the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) is a psychological enterprise expressed in physical or metaphysical form. It is not that Jung somehow misses the metaphysical tenets of Gnosticism – or of mainstream Christianity or of Buddhism – but that he relentlessly transforms those tenets into outward expressions, or projections, of the unconscious. Jung’s later forging of the concept of synchronicity, which ventures beyond the human mind to the world, is not incompatible with his relentless psychologizing of religion and of myth. To understand Gnosticism, one must still distinguish between the mind and the world, onto which the mind projects itself. One must recognize the projections and thereby re-route them back to the mind.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Gnostic World
EditorsGarry W. Trompf, Gunner B Mikkelsen, Jay Johnston
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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